While waiting for a court appearance, Bronkhurst says he did nothing wrong because he had a legal permit and that he will be vindicated in court. He claims he is the fall guy.
Well, I guess I shot a famous lion…There are many collared lions shot every year, and as far as I’m aware there’s five that were shot this year alone…Well, it’s destroyed us, it’s destroyed the family, my business. You know, we employ a lot of people, and they are on half-time now. I guess each family is supporting six or more dependents.
The hearing is postponed until the following week.
In his first interview, Palmer says he will return to work after Labor Day,
I have a lot of staff members, and I’m a little heartbroken at the disruption in their lives. And I’m a health professional. I need to get back to my staff and my patients, and they want me back. That’s why I’m back.
He claims he has not been in hiding.
I’ve been out of the public eye seeing family and friends. This has been especially hard on my wife and my daughter. They’ve been threatened in the social media, and again … I don’t understand that level of humanity to come after people not involved at all.
He also says he would not have killed Cecil if he had known more:
If I had known this lion had a name and was important to the country or a study, obviously I wouldn’t have taken it. Nobody in our hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion.
Zuma brushes aside the killing of Cecil.
What it sounds like from a distance [is] that the hunter did not know that Cecil was so popular, just saw a lion, and killed a lion, and it’s Cecil, and Cecil is very well loved and it caused a problem, because everyone wants to go and see Cecil. I think it’s just an incident. I was told by somebody that there is a brother of Cecil. Who? There is Jericho. Thanks God, now people will ask if Jericho is among these lions and they will not shoot, I would imagine. Really I didn’t think it could become such a big issue, but it is a big issue because Cecil was loved. But I think maybe that the fellow did not know. And he just took a nice lion and it was Cecil. I think Zimbabwe has laws about hunting and everything, I don’t think it’s a matter we could really debate that much.
The President of Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe responds:
I’m surprised that President Zuma would make a such a comment with regard to an animal hunted in a neighbouring country. I find it very undiplomatic and very unfair to comment on a sovereign state.
American, Delta, and United ban the transport of lion, leopard, elephant, rhino or buffalo, animals known in Africa as the “big five”, because they are the hardest to kill on foot. Delta, the only American airline to fly directly between the United States and Johannesburg, will also review policies on accepting other hunting trophies with government agencies and other organizations that support legal shipments.
Contrary to earlier reports, MacDonald, director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford, says Jericho is not the brother of Cecil the Lion.
They were not related, though their bond was one close to brotherhood. Male lions often form what are termed co-operative ‘coalitions’ with unrelated males in order to better compete with other males for territories and prides.
Jericho is currently caring for and defending Cecil’s cubs.
It is feared that Jericho, brother of Cecil the Lion, has been shot dead by poachers in Zimbabwe. Rodrigues, Chairman for Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, says:
It is with great sadness and regret that we report that Jericho was shot dead at 4pm this afternoon. We are absolutely heartbroken. We have no further details but will advise as soon as we know more.
However later reports indicate that the GPS on the lion is still moving, leading others to believe that a different lion has been killed.
Farrow tweets Palmer’s business address to 656,000 followers. Initially it is thought that the post included Palmer’s home address.
CecilTheLion -Gentle protector of 6 cubs. Loved by many. Killed by Dentist Walter Palmer. [Address]
Farrow quickly deletes the address and amends the tweet to show a picture instead of his dental practice in Bloomington, Minneapolis.
A White House petition (link) garners over 160,000 signatures — meeting the threshold for the Obama administration to respond.
We urge the Secretary of State John Kerry and the Attorney General Loretta Lynch to fully cooperate with the Zimbabwe authorities and to extradite Walter Palmer promptly at the Zimbabwe government’s request…
Palmer issues a statement saying his hunt was legal and that he will assist authorities:
In early July, I was in Zimbabwe on a bow hunting trip for big game. I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted. I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt. I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the U.S. about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have. Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.
Osbourne reacts to killing of Cecil the Lion by Palmer:
PETA releases a statement about the killing of Cecil the lion. Newkirk:
Hunting is a coward’s pastime. If, as has been reported, this dentist and his guides lured Cecil out of the park with food so as to shoot him on private property, because shooting him in the park would have been illegal, he needs to be extradited, charged, and, preferably, hanged. To get a thrill at the cost of a life, this man gunned down a beloved lion, Cecil with a high-powered weapon. All wild animals are beloved by their own mates and infants, but to hunters like this overblown, over-privileged little man, who lack empathy, understanding, and respect for living creatures, they are merely targets to kill, decapitate, and hang up on a wall as a trophy. The photograph of this dentist, smiling over the corpse of another animal, who, like Cecil, wanted only to be left in peace, will disgust every caring soul in the world.